Thursday, May 03, 2007

Super exciting news!

1) We've finally launched where we turn a single digital photo into meaningful developmental videos for your children!

2) The second most exciting news is, especially for all our family and friends readers of this blog, I have started 2 new daily(ish) blogs... certainly check them out: : my daily insights as a father and cognitive psychologist, featuring Miss Scarlett! : popular press news stories and other develomental news as it relates to kids, family, and social development.

3) I know, I know, I have months of wonderful pictures to catch up on... late breaking news is she is getting 3 more teeth in at once (8-10) and her 'best' word is caterpillar (4 syllables!). Hopefully the other stuff will keep everyone busy.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2007: Smart like a dog

Well, it finally may have happened... Scarlett may now be as smart as Toby dog. This is no, small feat, mind you. Toby knows over 280 commands, has 3 different modes of walking off leash, and knows both hand and vocal commands.

But we figure Scarlett probably knows almost as many concepts, and has begun one-trial learning; that is she can observe something and then being able to mimic and incorporate and generalize those actions.

Just today, she saw me open and close the baby gate, and promptly walked over to the baby gate, and lifted the handle (which I haven't been using the child saftey switch yet) and opened it. She then walked down the hall to another baby gate and lifted the gray handle, generalizing what she had learned right away. That is actually a very sophisticated cognitive step, superior to anything Toby knows. Time to use the baby safeties. (On an aside, we've also decided she is also part monkey, as when she couldn't open the gate, she has started to climb the gate, holding the top of the gate and putting her feet on the gate off the ground.)

She is also really grasping language and its usage. Today, we could tell she was acting hungry, and asked if she wanted a bottle, and she said "bah", walked across the room, and pointed to the bottle and again said "bah". We picked her up and she drank from the bottle, which she doesn't do if she isn't hungry. There is so much going on there cognitively--- she is associating a word (bah), with an object (bottle), that will satisfy a feeling (hunger), and then an additional second step action to walk towards the bottle to retrieve it... while it seems simple, it is actually very complicated set of cognitive actions.

She's done other amazing things like we asked her to go get her Neh-Neh, and she walked across the room, grabbed her horse and brought it to us, demonstrating she knows lots of things she doesn't even say yet. Mow-mow is her newest word for cat.

Oh, yeah, she's still blonde, still blue-eyed, and still tiny. Even though she looks big in most of the closeup photos, at 12.5 months she's still not quite 18 pounds yet. A 1-yearboy at her gym class today weighed over 30 pounds. Here's a photo of Arley to scale at the beach--- which she loved by the way.... she also kept walking over to the surfer boys--- a bad habit we'll have to nip in the bud.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Other great holiday pictures

...more to come...

Holiday Yearling

December is a big month. Scarlett turns one and we turn our eyes to the holidays and to family. We had a great holiday-themed birthday party for Scarlett.

Her production vocabulary (words she says) is over a dozen words: Noh! (No--- which is getting used with increasing frequency), Toh Dah (Toby Dog), Quo (Crow), Dow (Down), DaDa (Da-da), Mah (Mom), Blue (Blue berries), O-pah (Open), Wow (wow in a whisper, which is very cute), ohhhh (oh, with an inflection in the middle for when she is surprised), gua-gua (spanish for woof-woof, she makes when Toby barks), Puh (Puff- - a baby treat she likes), Bah-Bah (Bottle) and while not a word, she's started going mmmm for a kiss (the mmmmm sound like the sound right before a kiss, but tries to take a bite because she can't pucker quite yet). Of course, she's makes dozens of other sounds in what seem like long sentences--- we just have no idea what she's saying.

She's doing all kinds of neat things like fake choking to get attention, and fake laughs to crack herself up, initiating playing peek-a-boo by lifting and holding blankets over her head, then pulling it down and laughing, and she totally loves baths. She's fully mobile; running even... but managed to fall and get a minor black eye right before her visit to santa (which went surprisingly well... actually, she was very serious... but at least she didn't cry).

Around this age, kids enter something called the mine phase, where they start getting possessive. While she's still happy to try and feed us while eating, she does try to do everything she can to hold as many things in each hand as she can. She's also figuring out she can stack items in other items to carry more--- it is the genesis of the purse! She also loves to put caps back on bottles and cans... not sure what that means, but she loves it.

She ended up being the only girl available at church for the Christmas nativity scene, so she played the youngest virgin Mary of all time.

Her eyes are still blue and her hair is still blonde, and she's starting to get the cutest blonde curls---

Month of November

It has been a great but busy couple of months.... time to get caught up with all of Scarlett's changes.... Here, Scarlett takes her first merry-go-round with grandma right after Thanksgiving.

In Novemeber, Scarlett continued to improve her coordination in Novemeber, taking her first steps and going three or five strides. She also shifted from making a grabing motion to show she wanted something to pointing, and accordingly, has developed the ability to really show strong preferences. Of course, it is a mixed blessing... while she can better communicate what she wants, she is developing strong likes and dislikes, so if she sees something she'd prefer, say some fruit in the kitchen, she will refuse to eat what's on her plate and just point at what she wants until she gets it.

She's eating pretty much eating everything now... blueberries are her favorite food with pasta/mac and cheese and chicken and carrots and peas not far behind. We are pretty lucky she's been so easy with food, and actually really seems to like veggies like carrots, peas, and corn. Other new foods include jello and oranges. She has 6 teeth (4 top, 2 bottom) that have come in like giant shards of glass, but after getting these teeth in early, she hasn't gotten any other teeth.

Scarlett is looking older and and older in big girl dresses, but still finds a little time to get into all kinds of trouble--- her strong sense of adventure coupled with her uncanny ability to open draws and doors have gotten her into all kids of trouble----so that's why they invented baby locks....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nov 6: New

It has been an interesting week. Arley has made some pretty neat cognitive jumps--- She has started pointing at things she wants.... (and throwing a little temper tantrum when she doesn't get it). She is also really starting to mimic everything. In this picture, she has learned to both scratch and sniff smelly stickers in Little Bunny Follow's His Nose. She also continues to really loves books, and has learned how fun it is to turn the pages (especially of board books).

She has also been teething like mad, and has been very unhappy and not sleeping or eating particularly well (reminding us of the sleepless nights when she wasn't sleeping through the night many months ago).

First ice cream: pumpkin from Rick's
First candy: grape Nerds she got from accidently eating her "rattle"
Favorite food: pasta (esp. Mac & Cheese"
New word: oh-peh (open)
Least favorite thing: teething (still 6 teeth)
New hair styles: bands & sock caps:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oct 29: Pumpkin walk

It is a really big pumpkin, I swear. But the biggest news coming out of our little pumpkin is she took her first two steps today. She won't be running around trick or treating by Halloween, but she's almost really a bi-ped.

Current favorite food: Cheese & grapes

New word: Chee (cheese)

Tooth count: 5 (both lower middles, fang, and middle 2 tops)

Least favorite thing: time change

Newest fashion accessory: hair barrettes

Our kitty pride:

Furmandridges carving pumpkins:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Snaggletooth preview

Ready to pounce! Seriously, how cute is she???!!!

It has been a rough week for Arley--- she is getting her third tooth in and it has apparently been a very painful process for her--- her top right tooth is coming in but about 1-2cm over from where you'd expect it--- so, either she is getting her second incisor in before her first large incisor, a not-totally-rare situation called cross-cutting, or her main incisor (big front tooth) is coming in way off center... so no wonder it is so painful. We might have to start calling her fang from now on... so the kitty halloween costume is pretty fitting.

The last week Scarlett made it to her first football game in a newly renovated Stanford stadium.

She also loves playing in water.. .here she plays in the hose and doesn't mind getting soaked.. .and yes, her eyes are still azure blue.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oct 10: D is for... Everything

Arley is doing great. Her vocabulary is up to 6 words regularly.... maybe not words in the Queen's English, but words two Cognitive Psychologist parents can pick out: Mama, Daddy, doggy/diggy (doggy), dat (that), duck (rubber duck), and durrel (squirrel - her favorite thing to watch run around our yard; the letters 'sqr' are about the hardest 3 letter to pronouce to start a word for children, so she just uses the d sound) . She has said boo-boo clear as day after she pointed to a mark and Laura said boo-boo, but she hasn't said it again since.

She loves pointing, and still totally loves books.... clearly something she gets from her mom, because I didn't know books were good for anything other than jumps for hot wheels until I was in grad school. I've never seen a screaming child be calmed so quickly by opening a book... but it works for her... and she loves to point at the different characters.

So since I started drafting this blog last week, Arley has added to her one-use vocabularly--- words she's said perfectly, but only used once include:
Mom (a new variation on Mama)
Dad (a new variation on daddy)

Hoodies are in--- I just learned a hoodie is hooded sweat shirt... but they're in I hear--- and Scarlett like them:

Here's a great picture of Arley and dad... her shirt from Grandma is very fitting --- in case you can't read it, it says "little terror":

And here, she and her cousin Max play with robot friend:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Oct 5: A couple of cuties

Arley's offical stats were 15lbs 9oz and 29" @ 9.5mo.

Here are some more sweet photos--- Not sure what has grown more, the baby or the garden...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

cute photos... text on the way

... and yes, that's scarlett standing all on her own...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sept 10: Miss Scarlett

Does she look like a southern belle or what? Little Miss Scarlett pays homage to her namesake adorning a French dress from Hola & Morning.

She's continuing to love the tranistion to adult food and packing on the pounds literally... she's moving in on 16lbs, now, so after 2 months of 2oz/month weight gain, she's hitting almost a pound a month, placing her firmly back on the weight/age chart (5th percentile). Diet additions --- it's getting hard to keep track - cooked chicken breast, frangipane brioche, to name a few --- and not just new foods, but she's eating an incredible amount and still taking large bottles and breast feeding.

Grandma came to visit last week, and I think she was amazed at the changes she's seen in Arley over the last month. Besides feeling like a ton of bricks, last time she was able to put Arley down in one place, to play catch, for example, and how, as soon as you put Scarlett down, she crawls off to investigate something.

And leave it to Grandma to teach the little one to wash her hands (she loves putting her hands in running water like the hose or shower) and exploring the joys of freshly warmed towels in the dryer... that used to be one of my favorite things, too...

We read somewhere that babies can get too much beta carotene in their diet (from carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.) can get a slight orange tint to their skin... I'm not sure this is what they meant... She's also starting to lose her inch-worm crawl, preferring the more conventional baby crawl ---

Finally, one of her favorite things to do is have books read to her (especially by her mommy). I couldn't believe it when she crawled over to "Little Bunny Follows his Nose", opened it, and started talking like she was reading... it was pretty amazing...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sept 1: Green Bean

We were finally able to capture a picture of her first tooth--- bottom gum, her right--- I know it is a little hard to see with those blueberries jammed in her mouth, but it's there.

Arley is continuing to grow like a weed... None of her 9mo clothes fit (for length), and after only gaining 4oz the last two months, she's gained over 12oz the last month.

Her newest food love is brie (pasturized rindless). She's pretty much eating adult food now - and her latest thing is she is really into feeding herself, and not being spoon fed.

Scarlett and Toby are still best of friends... Toby has taken on quite the roll of a nanny dog, going in and sleeping in Scarlett's room, especially when Arley is crying.

We've also put in new planter boxes for veggies and herbs and flowers. Here's the fam together, Scarlett "getting her hands dirty" playing with some onions, and the after effects of eating some dirt :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Aug 27: 15lbs of hurt

Holy Cow! What a week! Two teeth, the zoo, cruising, blueberries, black eye, waving, kneeling, clapping, watermelon, first high chair, first shopping cart, swim lesson, 3rd foods, and I'm sure I'm leaving something out! You see how we finally had to slow her down :)

Scarlett has sure had an explosion of activity and growth this week--- she is really becoming a little girl.

It is amazing to see the increase in her curiosity and her exploring. And, it is incredible to see her motor and cognitive system developing together. She's pulling herself on tables because she can see what's on top (because she is so curious). Evolutionarily, curiosity is the major driver that pushes infants to become mobile and work on crawling and standing. Infants start developing attachments to items as their memory capacity improves, and that happens right around the time babies start walking, because as it happens, they wanting start carrying possesions with them, and crawling just gets in the way.

In all her adventures, she's taken a couple of hard spills, including catching the edge of the table under her eye, giving her her first pseudo-black eye... needlessly to say, we invested in baby proofing foam the next day--- good thing Frank Lloyd Wright can't see all our craftsman furnature covered in gray foam!

We added peach and pear yogurt to her diet this week along with blueberries which instantly became her favorite food, by far... eating dozens of halves per meal... that was until she tried watermelon... she went crazy... but we try to limit the watermelon because of the high sugar content (one of the highest sugar content of any fruit). But she has just become a solid-food machine, eating everything in sight--- she's even skipping bottles she's eating so much food. We're also transitioning her more and more to adult food; the end of a baggette, cheerios, a roll at dinner, water from our glasses, you name it, and it has really made going out and eating with her so much more fun and so much easier.

So with this big uptick in solid consumption, she's finally putting on a little weight. After gaining only four ounces the previous 2 months, she's gained 12 ounces in less than a month... putting her a blonde hair over 15lbs... that's only 5th percentile, but at least she's back on the chart for weight now. It is hard to measure a squirming girl, but she may have also gained at least 0.5", putting over 29".

Mom took Arlely to the zoo for a girls day out... it was a little cold (poor animals and babies) and she's a little young to understand the whole concept, but everyone seemed to have a great time.

Other fun things, she's started waving to new people (or to herself in the mirror), Mom's teaching Arley to clap (we have some great video, I'll get up soon), she's starting to take her first unassisted small steps side ways while holding onto the coffee table (called cruising), she's kneeling so she can play with (teethe) object (see left) and daringly, just today, she's start taking her hands off the coffee table while standing up, testing her balance.

Her second tooth is also coming in. It is funny, there is an old wives' tale about babies getting congested right before a tooth comes in. Twice, out of no where we thought she had gotten a cold but it seems like she was just getting her teeth in... chalk another one up for the old wives.

I'll work on getting the crawling and clapping videos up soon---

Friday, August 18, 2006

Aug 15: 8months and busy!

So how do you keep an 8-month-old busy for 20 minutes? Give them 4 Cheerios.

That's about how long it takes her to gum them into a paste....Turns out the large push for eating solids coincides with their ability to do the pincher or grasping motion with the thumb and first finger. She loves this, and besides acting fascinated with her ability to grab a single Cheerio (and she will only grab one at a time... it is pretty cute), she can now also pinch noses, cheeks, etc... so watch out. Her diet is expanding into yogurt (her new faovirte food by far) and cheese.

The bigger news is little Scarlett is 8 months old and having a tremendously monsterous week. Doesn't she look devilish in Craftsman-endtable lair?

First of all, she is getting her first tooth. So the answer to the inevitable question, Daddy, which tooth came in first, is front bottom right (central incisor; tooth P using the universal numbering system for baby teeth for all you dentists out there). Talk to us in 5 years and see if it is the first one to fall out...

But all this teething has the downside of leading to quite a fussy week.. with lots of senseless crying and crazy teething. She also loves drinking out of adult glasses, so it is pretty neat to hear her little single tooth tapping on the glass. The other downside--- 19 more baby teeth to come go---

She is also really getting into standing up, using every possible surface she can to pull herself up into a standing position: the coffee table, the TV stand, the dog, my leg, you name it... unfortunately, this leads to the inevitable falling backwards... luckily she has her mom's hard head. I would have had 3 (more) concussions by now.

Finally, she's transitioning into a sitting position from a crawl or laying down. She's been able to stay in a stitting position on her own for a long time now when we put her in that position, but she hasn't been able to get into that position on her on. For several weeks, she's been doing what we've called the "tripod" sitting all jaunty off to one side with her hand out e.g., in her Craftsman lair picture above. This week, however, she's been able to transition from laying to tripod to a full upright sit. Pretty exciting.

Basically I've been too busy trying to keep up with her to take many photos, but several people have asked to see her crawl, so I took some video and will get it up in the next post...

Friday, August 11, 2006

10 August: Petite monstre

Almost 8 months....
Loosely translated petite monstre is little terror... literally translated little monster. She's officially gained 0.5" and 4oz in two months, putting her at 28.25" and 14lbs 4oz... 90+ percentile for height, off the charts for skinny.

So what is the plan? All is well and time for human food! Here she samples her first non-baby food. Sure she's had apples, bananas, peas, green beans, pears, you name it, all mushed up. But turns out adult food is much higher in calories, so we're jumping in... not with wonderbread, mind you, but with organic artisan chibata from the local farmers market... life is rough. Since then, we've also started her on yogurt, pureed chicken, and liquified thanksgiving I call it (turkey, carrots, sweet potatoes all pureed together).... and of course, Cheerie-Os:

Although it doesn't take Scarlett long to figure out that food also help her make new friends:
She is active as always... nothing gets in her way (notice who now never is far behind):

Turns out though, crawling is a total case of becareful what you wish for.... our little monster has also quickly learned another way to make friends... opening the screen door! This was totally spontaneous... YIKES!

Finally, more leg strengthing... but I thought it was a sweet shot... ever since she was a baby she has loved gazing outside to watch the trees... now she can crawl over and do it any time she wants...

1 August: Moving day!

Houston, we have a mobile baby.

She's crawling. Maybe not the perfect crawl, but she is doing something between a commando crawl under barbed wire and an inch worm... anyway, it is enough to get her *where ever* she wants to go. Was it the new carpet? Was it dressing in brown and watching the dog? Was it just time? Who knows, but now, no one's toes are safe.

So much to get caught up on... yes... we moved to a new place on the peninsula.... it did take us a while to unpack the important things:Grandma came to visit and in the few days she was here, Arley learned to catch a ball and lift it over her head. It is amazing really, that Arley really started to mimic us... it it pretty neat.

Scarlett also started to take her first swimming lesson at the local Y. The water was 89, so she had nothing to complain about....

Afterwards, she still had energy enough to wave to the paparazzi
Finally, despite the massive heat spell because of global warming, we've already had one cold morning with fog, so here is dad's road crew that accompanies him on his morning walk for coffee...

So just to add to Arley's triathalon of cognitive milestones, she has started pulling herself up on the windowsill practicing her standing... good grief... is driving that far behind????

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Jul 20: Ballerina

Seven months old!

Arley is making great strides (so to speak)--- she should be crawling any day now, and she's starting to both turn to look where I point and is expermenting with her pointer finger as well. She's finally taking a bottle consistently ('s about time!) and, well, she is pretty much just a perfect little girl. But never mind any of that... this picture was just so cute, I simply had no choice not to post it (notice the shoes)!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

July 12: Smorgesboard

It really seems like little Arley is growing up... we're noticing real changes in her face as she evolves into a little girl before our eyes... she's not putting much weight on, still in the 14lbs range, but she's so long and tall, it's crazy.

It is hard to know whether her little girl giggle or the little hugs she gives when you pull her out of the crib are the sweetest things in the world.

She seems to be ticklish, love zerberts, and has an increasing love of Toby dog, giggling and wanting to pet her every time she enters the room.

Here we enjoy the Palo Alto countryside for the fourth...
A darling picture of mom and baby hanging out...
Is Arley ready for the Kentucky Derby or what?
And she still finds time to practice some naked yoga!
I swear that her eyes are starting to get a little green in them, but you wouldn't know it from this photo...
There's been a lot of discussion about her hair color, is it red? Is it blonde. We think it really changes depending on the light... here it is out in the sun... it's a coppery blonde if you ask me...
We've been giving her all kinds of solids... here she gets her first taste of peas... she actually likes them, even though she wasn't too sure at first.
She *loves* sweet potatoes just like her dad! So far we've tried applesauce, bananas (fresh & baby food), peaches, pears, peas, sweet potatoes, and barley, rice, and oatmeal cereals.
... and also loves fresh fruit... we found this great little thing that has a mesh in which we can put fresh fruit and don't have to worry about choking... she devours bananas, peaches, and pears.
She's also getting very coordinated and athletic acting... here she performs the class "bridge," supporting her weight on just her hands and feet.
Can you say crawl? Well she can't talk quite yet, and doesn't quite have it down yet, but she's certainly getting into the right position....and if crawling only required shooting backwards or tipping over sideways, we'd be there!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

June 15: Halfling

Little Arley is 6 months old and doing great!

Here, she's slowly but surely taking bottles better and better every day...

She's eating all kinds of solids now... Barley and oatmeal cereal (below) as well as bananas that she loves and apple sauce, which she is only luke warm to.

She is showing all kinds of coordination improvements... she can sit up for several minutes on her own...
And she's also discovered her tongue ... sticking it on everything....

She's also almost crawling... at least pulling and kicking and mouthing towards everything she can.
Here she digs into fresh bananas... her favorite now....

And as she's also really fascinated with the keyboard---- here's her first typing for her blog:

frjk,HHHHHHHHHHHt` ` ` fffffff44444r555555252 .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.CFFDDDDDDDDDDDDFDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDG

Friday, June 09, 2006

Michigan Girl

Early Summer 2006 - Detroit

We had a great trip visiting Laura's cousins - fishing, boating, lawn volleyball --- wonderful summer activities... photos below:

Scarlett meets her 95-year-old great-grandmother Eleanor

Scarlett got her first dolly from her cousins and loves it!Here Scarlett meets her aunt Liz and cousins Lilly and Claire
And our trip wrapped up with a beautiful sunset over one of the lakes we stay at

Monday, June 05, 2006

June 5: Growing up!

5.5 months... Fresh from her check up Scarlett is 27.75" (off the chart, but I personally don't think she is that long!) and 14 lbs (25th percentile) and didn't even cry for her shot...

But most excitingly, today we fed Scarlett her first solid food...

OK, yes, the high chair tray is certainly solid... but that's not what we meant...

Her first bite of rice ceral and formula....

It went so well, she tried to feed herself!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

June 4: Aloha

5 months...

We just got back from a fantastic trip to Maui with the fam...

Scarlett is doing just great... she is sitting up for 10s of seconds on her own, sleeping well, and just being a real bundle of love.

Scarlett had many firsts on this trip... her first walk in the ocean, transpacific flight,

Assorted photos from the trip:

Baby and mom arriving:

Grandma, grandpa, and the little one:

Hanging out with her shades on:

A family photo in the Maui aquarium in which dad got over his cold enough to scuba dive in!!! No photoshop here...
Baby looking cute in her hawaiian print suit:

Sometimes we all put our foot in our mouth... Arley can do it literally...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14: Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Arley is almost 5 months old, and it was about 1 year ago today we learned little Scarlett was on the way, so it has been a pretty special year.

Scarlett has been making all kinds of developmental advances... she is practicing all kinds of new speech sounds- she's just starting her nasals (mah-- the start of mama, no doubt) and I'm sure I've heard a plosive or two (pah and dah). She also appears to be doing several of the precursors to crawling... and one of the funniest things this week is she has just discovered her feet! She plays with them all the time!

Sleeping is also going very well. Removing the swaddle has really allowed her to self sooth and find her comfortable position... here, per usual, she likes cramming her head in a tight corner... visions of the pelvis, I guess--

Other great pictures from the last week or so:

Looking cute in her new sun hat:Three generations:
A lazy day of cousins by the pond:

I love my daddy, too, but I definitely have my mommy's skin:
Looking cute in my shades: